Pets can Enjoy Christmas too
Getting busy for the festive fun? We mustn’t forget about our pets, as they are part of the family and can enjoy the festivities too. Whilst most of them like being pampered at Christmas when family and friends descend upon the home, it is important to try to keep them to as normal a routine as possible.
Christmas can be hazardous for your animals if you’re not careful, food that may be delicious to us can be highly toxic and dangerous for our pets.
Skinless and boneless white meat such as turkey is ok for dogs and cats, but be careful that it is not covered in fat, salt and gravy! – and remember to watch your pet’s waistline too.
Kissing under the mistletoe may be fun for us people, but if a pet ingests this it can cause a dangerous drop in your pet’s blood pressure which may prove fatal!
Chocolate can be easily sniffed out by dogs, but this is amongst the most dangerous food for dogs – make sure you haven’t any chocolate decorations on the tree!
Poinsettia can cause bouts of nausea and vomiting and ivy is not good for pets either. Although pine needles aren’t particularly toxic, these can be swallowed so sweep up fallen needles daily
If you want to protect your Christmas tree from playful pets, here are a few tips to help
- Select the right location for your Christmas tree, ensure it is not close to other furniture as this can provide a ‘jump-off’ point to get to your tree. Use mantel swags instead of garlands to decorate your mantel, since these don’t hang off the edges.
- Before you decorate the tree, leave it up for a few days so that your pet will get used to having it in the house. Take your pets out of the room when decorating, animals may think you are playing a game when decorating the tree which may encourage them to pick at or swat later.
- Make sure your tree has a strong and stable base and wrap tin foil around the trunk to prevent your pets from gnawing or playing with the trunk
- Check your Christmas lights for any exposed wires or loose bulbs, this will reduce risk of ingestation or even electrocution. Use electrical cords that have an automatic cut off extension to provide further safety. Shiny Christmas lights are hard for your pet to resist, don’t let your dog get tangled up in them and leave the bottom branches of the tree light free if possible
- Secure your ornaments safely and keep expensive and fragile ornaments to the top of the tree
- Use a bitter apple spray on the tree which is odourless to humans but offensive to pets, but if you do want an effective spray that keeps your décor smelling fresh then use a citrus spry.
Christmas is extra special when you have a pet at home, but make sure it is a safe and happy one for your ‘best friend’.